A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill designed to increase the availability of telemedicine services, the Eureka Times-Standard reports.
The Medicare Telehealth Enhancement Act (HR 2068) would expand Medicare reimbursement to telemedicine facilities in urban and suburban areas.
About 80% of U.S. residents do not have access to telemedicine facilities because of restrictions that limit funding for such facilities to rural areas, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), the bill's author.
The bill also would allow doctors to monitor patients remotely and would provide $30 million in grant funding to help health care facilities purchase telehealth equipment and expand telemedicine support services.
Other sponsors of the bill include:
- Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas);
- Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.); and
- Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) (Eureka Times-Standard, 4/27).